(StatePoint) Whether it’s a husband buying yoga pants for his wife, a daughter looking for fly fishing supplies for her dad, or a childless uncle looking for gifts for nieces and nephews, consumers tend to stray from their retail comfort zones during the holiday season in pursuit of the perfect gift for loved ones.

In fact, nearly two-thirds of consumers will shop at national retailers they don’t normally visit during the holiday season, and this behavior increases the higher the income bracket, according to recent data from Placeable, a company that helps national brands compete locally by building improved local digital presences.

So how do retailers make sure one-time shoppers find their local outlet during the holidays and retain them as customers into 2015 and beyond?

“In the information age, many retailers are wisely relying on digital marketing strategies to better catch a shoppers’ eye,” says Ari Kaufman, CEO of Placeable.

Luckily, such strategies are beneficial to customers and retailers alike, and there are some key trends to watch out for this shopping season.

Many consumers, particularly millennials, turn to a retailer’s website first before going to a physical store to make a purchase-- and they are expecting that the location and hours, as well as current discounts and promotions, will be readily accessible information.

Savvy brands will make sure this information is locally accurate and precise, as research shows that more than two-thirds of people will lose trust in a brand if they get lost walking or driving to a location because of an incorrect address listing. In fact, 71 percent of customers will go to a competitor while en route to their intended location, according to Placeable data.

No shopper wants to be lost at the mall, which is more likely to happen when you’re searching for a store you wouldn’t normally visit or you’re shopping while out of town, another seasonal trend. As more brands catch onto the importance of their crucial information being up-to-date at the local level, you can expect to be a better-informed and more efficient consumer, especially during the busy holiday shopping season.

These days, online research drives many consumers purchasing decisions. As more brands catch onto the importance of this trend, consumers can expect that their online searches for a particular retailer will trend less toward an online directory listing (with potentially obsolete information) and more directly toward a retailer’s locally tailored website. This will mean more useful, real-time information at the fingertips of consumers -- such as in-store promotions, extended hours and other local marketing efforts.

Brands that keep up with the digital trends and adopt data crunching tools, such as marketing automation, will be better prepared to handle the increasing demands of consumers looking for more targeted information in the years to come. The holiday season is a great time to notice how these changes affect your shopping experience.


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